Boris Johnson receives first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine

UK Prime Minister urges public to take shot when it is offered to them

Johnson receives Covid-19 vaccine: 'I cannot recommend it too highly'

Johnson receives Covid-19 vaccine: 'I cannot recommend it too highly'
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been given his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Mr Johnson was given the shot at St Thomas' Hospital in central London, where he had received emergency treatment for Covid-19 last year.

“I literally did not feel a thing. It was very good, very quick,” he said.

“Everybody, when you do get your notification to go for a jab, please go and get it. It’s the best thing for you, the best thing for your family and for everybody else.”

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson receives a dose of a AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, administered by nurse and Clinical Pod Lead, Lily Harrington, at the vaccination centre in St Thomas' Hospital in London on March 19, 2021. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he will take the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca after a number of European countries halted their rollout of the jab over safety fears. / AFP / POOL / Frank Augstein
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson receives a dose of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. AFP

Mr Johnson assured the British public that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe after it was once again cleared by European regulators.

Pictures showed the prime minister wearing a black mask, a shirt and tie with his sleeve rolled up while a nurse gives him the vaccine.

“The risk is Covid. This is a great thing to do,” Mr Johnson said, hours after French Prime Minister Jean Castex received the AstraZeneca injection live on television.

Mr Johnson spent a week at St Thomas’ Hospital, including three days in intensive care, after he developed Covid-19 at the end of March last year.

He said after coming out that his personal battle with the coronavirus “could have gone either way”, and there was “no question” doctors saved his life.

Britain is on the verge of having given a first Covid-19 shot to half of all adults, making its vaccine distribution programme one of the fastest in the world.

EU states on Friday resumed using the AstraZeneca shot after regulators said the benefits of the shot outweighed any risks, following recent reports of blood clots.

Countries including Germany and France reversed their decision to temporarily pause its use after reports of about 30 cases of rare brain blood clots sent scientists and governments scrambling to determine any link.

The vaccine, developed by scientists at the University of Oxford, has been at the centre of tension between Britain and the European Union after Brussels expressed anger over the lack of deliveries coming from Britain.

Boris Johnson spoke with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to halt a potential EU ban on vaccine exports, The Times reported.

“We discussed our efforts to tackle Covid-19. We also touched on the importance of global supply chains and on common efforts to speed up vaccine production,” Mr De Croo said.